This Sovereign Isle: Britain In and Out of Europe (Hardback)
  • This Sovereign Isle: Britain In and Out of Europe (Hardback)
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This Sovereign Isle: Britain In and Out of Europe (Hardback)

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Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 28/01/2021
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Waterstones Says

Putting Britain's relationship with Europe into a wider historical context, Tombs provides a witty and insightful analysis of the whys and wherefores of Brexit.

The author of the celebrated bestseller The English and Their History puts Brexit in its historical context.

Geography comes before history. Islands cannot have the same history as continental plains. The United Kingdom is a European country, but not the same kind of European country as Germany, Poland or Hungary. For most of the 150 centuries during which Britain has been inhabited it has been on the edge, culturally and literally, of mainland Europe.

In this succinct book, Tombs shows that the decision to leave the EU is historically explicable - though not made historically inevitable - by Britain's very different historical experience, especially in the twentieth century, and because of our more extensive and deeper ties outside Europe. He challenges the orthodox view that Brexit was due solely to British or English exceptionalism: in choosing to leave the EU, the British, he argues, were in many ways voting as typical Europeans.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241480380
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 350 g
Dimensions: 223 x 140 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'confident ... surprising and original ... and humble ... Tombs's opening chapter, putting Britain's relationship with Europe into a wider historical context, offers more insights than entire shelves of rival Brexit books. "Geography comes before history," he begins. "Islands cannot have the same history as continental plains. The United Kingdom is a European country, but not the same kind of European country as Germany, Poland or Hungary." ... Like all good historians, Tombs can be entertainingly bitchy [yet] all the time, with elegant wit, he punctures myth after myth' - Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

'The time has finally come for the whole issue [of Brexit] to pass from the hands of journalists into those of historians. Robert Tombs, emeritus professor of French history at Cambridge, has started the process of objective historical analysis with a profoundly thoughtful explanation of how Brexit happened, and why ... Tombs has a witty turn of phrase and agreeably ironic style that means that he never descends into polemic ... If journalism is the first draft of history, then This Sovereign Isle is its penultimate draft, and the best we will have for many years.' - Andrew Roberts, Daily Telegraph

'To Remainers interested in reading a civilised & learned defence of Brexit, I highly recommend it' - Tom Holland

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